I used to be kind. I used to take things hundred and sometimes thousands of miles, or fly across the world, because i felt i was on a mission to spark little pockets of new promise where before there might have been stagnation. My own children weren't interested in healing, and they certainly wanted nothing to do with me; so i had to befriend people all over the place, which i did. I didn't do it right, in the end, but i did that as a volunteer, as a donor, as a mom, as an employee. And then i realized, all this outer world activity never healed or helped me attain any inner kindness, or sense of connectedness, or continuity. I had created an altruistic trail of kindness, but sometimes i put money into places where more listening would have been better. Sometimes, I put listening in a place where social leverage might've been better. Sometimes, i showed up for people so long until i realized, who shows up for me? It seemed out of balance. These are post-hoc reflections, do any of us really know 'the right answer?' I don't know anyone anywhere anymore, so i no longer care about myself or others much. Usually travel changes that sensibility, so i travel to remind myself that the world is amazing. It costs money but what am i saving for in retirement? More fleeting encounters with this racial advocate, or that person on the street corner, all the scraps from the already-trimmed corners of relationship? It makes you realized that kindness can be a vice as well as a virtue, if one's soul's calling is overlooked. I keep going back to this question, what is most authentically an expression of kindness right now? How can kindness be a balm within this being, so that the difference is palpable? This is a new kind of question i linger with.
On Feb 16, 2023David Doane wrote :
I don't think kindness is ever a vice. I think it's important to also be kind to self (I think that is included in one's soul's calling). We search. We learn. Thanks for sharing.